He became a national treasure after nailing Gangnam style on Strictly, and now Ed Balls has just earned another legion of fans – after being tasered on camera.
As part of his BBC2 documentary series Travels In Trumpland, the former Shadow Chancellor was shot with the weapon for five seconds in a mock initiation ceremony that is a tradition in the Louisiana police.
And, as Balls revealed in a recent tweet, “it really really hurts”.
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Every police officer recruit in Louisiana has to be tasered – it’s called ‘Joining the 5 second club’. You only do it once – it really really hurts… Episode Two of #TravelsInTrumpland is this Sunday at 9pm on @BBCTwo pic.twitter.com/bFRid7nJ0m
— Ed Balls (@edballs) August 4, 2018
It wasn’t only the police department that applauded Balls’ bravery – viewers at home were also quick to praise the stunt…
— Jonathan Armstrong (@TheScarletMan) August 5, 2018
— Billy Casper (@BillyCasper5) August 5, 2018
Ed's got some balls taking that taser.. #TravelsInTrumpland
— Jas Judge (@JasJudge) August 5, 2018
…while others thought the moment required some political balance…
And now, in the interest of balance could the BBC please taser Rees Mogg's arse?
— Babs Horton (@BabsHorton) August 5, 2018
But that wasn’t the only scene viewers congratulated Balls on. From being locked up for a night in jail while donning an orange jumpsuit, interviewing Americans obsessed with firearms, to ending up in a dance-off in a gay club, audiences were in full praise of his “outstanding journalism”.
Ordinarily, watching Ed Balls getting shot in the arse with a taser would be worth the license fee alone… But actually Travels In Trumpland is very much more than that. Hugely interesting.#EdBalls #TravelsInTrumpland
— Austin Williams (@Future_Cities) August 5, 2018
Took the taser like a champ, man.
— ฿oromir (@boromirtrades) August 5, 2018
In one ep of #TravelsInTrumpland we've had Ed climbing over a fence, being tasered, spending the night in prison, dancing in a gay club on his birthday and also, talking alot on about gun violence in such an open and emotional way. I really love this show! ????????
— Mia (@_MiaShepherd) August 5, 2018
Ed Balls is quite superb in #TravelsinTrumpland. Never thought I’d say this but what a loss to UK Politics. Such charisma,emotional intelligence,intellect and humour @edballs @BBCTwo https://t.co/Yhus2o1ypy
— Richard Papworth (@RIchardPapworth) August 6, 2018
And the best bit? There’s still one episode of Travels In Trumpland left to air. It won’t feature Ed getting tasered, but will see him attending a Tea Party convention and crossing paths with a controversial pastor who believes prayer can lead to wealth. Classic Balls, in other words.
Travels in Trumpland with Ed Balls is on BBC2 at 9pm on Sunday